The following article was contributed by Carol Wood, People Operations Director at Homebase. Read more employee management posts from Homebase and other Staffing & Human Resources articles here on the Clover blog.
Scheduling your team can be a headache for everyone—for the managers that spend hours trying to put the scheduling puzzle together every week and for the employees who don’t always end up with the schedule they want. But software can help! By switching to free scheduling software like Homebase, you can make things easier for both managers and employees.
Here are five of the most common scheduling frustrations we’ve heard from employees, and what you can do to address them.
1. Not knowing who they’re working with.
In a small operation with just a few people working at a given time, knowing who you’re working with can make a big difference. While most business owners would prefer that everyone on their team works well with everyone else, this isn’t usually the case. Providing some advanced notice to your team about who else is working their shift can go a long way to keeping your team happy and productive.
2. Not receiving the schedule far enough in advance.
A lot of businesses still using written schedules typically update them once a week, frequently on the weekends or during a slow period. But for employees in businesses where their hours may change week-to-week, this can be stressful. Let’s say you publish your week’s schedule on Sunday. It’d be great to let employees that are working Monday know more than a day in advance, or at least send them a notification the minute the schedule is published.
One option: schedule several weeks in advance. We talked to one restaurateur in Portland who schedules her taco shop employees three weeks in advance. If something last-minute comes up for her team, they can easily trade shifts.
3. Not getting the time off they requested.
We’ve heard from employees who write down time-off requests on sticky notes quickly forgotten to managers who just can’t give everyone the time off that they’d like, especially around major events like music festivals.
The good news is that team management software like Homebase can help. By moving the process of tracking and requesting time off online, it’s both easier and more equitable for your team. Employees will be able to request time off on their phones via the free mobile app as soon as they know they’ll need it, and your manager will have all the information in one place when they’re making the schedule. What’s more, you can set some limits, like a minimum advanced notice, or block off certain days when you can’t grant any time off requests.
4. Inconsistent hours week to week.
People love predictability (and the manager at your business responsible for scheduling everyone probably feels exactly the same way!), so if you’re able to offer set hours to your team members, try it. Everyone depends on the money, and knowing in advance how much they’ll be making next week is really helpful. And with the Homebase mobile app, they’ll also be able to see their estimated earnings for each shift.
5. Last-minute scheduling changes
A common complaint we’ve heard about is last-minute (and mid-week) schedule changes. Sometimes these are unavoidable, like if an employee gets sick, but you can minimize them with a little help from some data.
What’s more, we’ve found that people are generally happy getting hours added to their schedule, but because they’re counting on the money, don’t like getting cut from the schedule.
With Homebase employee scheduling, you’ll see sales estimates by day pulled right from your Clover device when you’re scheduling, alongside wage and weather information, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be spending—and how much you’ll likely earn. This should make your labor needs and, in turn, your employees’ work lives, a little more predictable .
In the end, it’s really a win-win. By reducing scheduling headaches for your employees, you’ll have a more dedicated and loyal team—and you’ll probably save a few hours building out the weekly schedule to boot.
Carol is People Operations Director at Homebase. With free online tools and mobile apps for managers and employees, Homebase eliminates the paperwork and headaches of scheduling, payroll, and team communication for local business.
At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 50,000 businesses that Homebase serves. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston Based HR consulting firm. In her free time, Carol enjoys spending time with her son Dayton, and watching Alabama football (RTR).[image: Ristorante Italiano in NYC by Michele Ursino on flickr]
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